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Web Experience News & Analysis

The Problem with Personalization and Customer Experience

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“I’m sorry Dave, I’m afraid I can’t do that.” -- Hal, 2001: A Space Odyssey

At the recent Henry Stewart DAM Conference in Los Angeles, the best and the brightest in Digital Asset Management shared their stories and showed their wares to an eager audience. The subject that recurred in presentations and many conversations was that of "personalization" and customer service in technology.

Consumers want more than just an experience -- we want a personal connection that identifies with who we are, our interests, expectations and abilities. Personalization of experience, technology and delivered results depends on accessible, comprehensive data feeding the website. Getting the right data at the right time requires understanding and effort from people, process and technology. The difficulty of providing personalization lies in leveraging the data to provide stellar customer service, inspire trust, gain efficiencies and meet expectations.

Ekaterina Walter: Success Is a Team Sport

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The most influential Renaissance man in digital marketing is quite likely a woman.

Ekaterina Walter not only has an attention-getting title — global evangelist at Sprinklr — but is also a passionate marketer, bestselling author and highly regarded international speaker.

She's also proud of her roles as a wife and mother, enjoys dancing, camping and seeing the world, and "tweets with a European accent."

After spending more than 10 years as an integrated marketer and social media leader at Intel and Accenture, she went on to become the co-founder and CMO of Branderati, which was acquired by Sprinklr earlier this year. Somewhere along the way, she found time to write two books, "Think Like Zuck" and "The Power of Visual Storytelling" and also gained recognition for her innovative thinking.

7 Troubling Myths About CX - and Why It Could Fail

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Colin Shaw knows customer experience (CX) — and he doesn't like where it's headed.

Twelve years ago, Shaw co-founded Tampa, Fla.-based Beyond Philosophy, a consultancy and training organization devoted to customer experience (CX). The company specializes in helping organizations to create deliberate, emotionally engaging customer experiences that drive value, reduce costs and build competitive advantage.

In addition to serving as CEO of Beyond Philosophy, he's the author of four books on customer experience and has a new one, "Unlocking the Hidden Customer Experience: Short Stories of Remarkable Practices that Ensure Success," scheduled for release next month. He's also one of LinkedIn's top 150 business influencers worldwide. So he knows of what he speaks when he expresses concerns about the future of CX.

"I'm becoming increasingly concerned that the goal of improving the ‘Customer Experience’ is heading the same way as customer relationship management (CRM) ... into failure," he said.

Bah Humbug: Could Your Holiday Emails Be Hurting You?

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Skip me if you’re sending out holiday emails, especially if we’ve never met. What you consider to be Seasons Greetings, I consider to be SPAM. And I have 512 such pieces in my inbox. I could have a part-time holiday job just opening them all.

And when I do open some of them and try to extend greetings of the season to you in return (it’s the least I can do, isn’t it?), the “To” box auto-fills itself with things like “customerservice@xxx.com”, no-reply@xxx.com, info@xxx.com and so on. It makes me feel so special, I can’t tell you.  What were you hoping to achieve?

The Holistic View of the Customer Experience

There's a consensus that if you want to be successful on line, you’re going to have to deliver an exceptional customer experience, something that leaves others trailing. Of course, there are many opinions on how to do that.

E-Spirit, for example, has a very particular notion of what customer experience involves. Many other vendors start by talking about technologies or silos. But for Oliver Jaeger, e-Spirit's vice president for global marketing and communications, it means the entire customer cycle from first contact to last sign-off.

While many companies just don’t get it that the whole process needs to be managed, e-Spirit is actively pursuing ways to provide that ultimate experience.

Companies Embrace Advanced Analytics But Not Big Data

Advanced analytics is becoming an enterprise essential. But most companies appear content to stick with the benefits of the "small data." the technology generates rather than make the necessary investments to capitalize on big data.

That's true even though a majority agree that big data is important, according to a new study commissioned by Dell and the International Institute for Analytics.

The study defines advanced analytics as predictive and prescriptive analytics rather than simple reporting.

Jahia Add-On Tool 'Frees' Digital Marketers to Engage

Open source Web CMS provider Jahia wants to empower digital marketers with its latest tool.

The Geneva, Switzerland-based company this week launched Form Factory, which officials say frees digital marketing teams "in the creation and monitoring of their favorite engagement tools."

The add-on comes in the same year Jahia released its Digital Factory 7 which officials at the company say is part of a "rise of the digital industrialization."

A Holiday Recipe for Successful Email Campaigns

2014-19-December-Baking.jpgThe holidays can be a particular challenge for email marketers as they face increased competition and the risk of over-saturating consumer inboxes with campaigns that may or may not be seen during the holiday crunch-time. If only there could be a reliable recipe for success, something as easy as one-part list hygiene, two-parts testing and “send” in small batches until done.

Is email marketing as easy as this? Well, no, but just like home cooks can feel like master chefs if they follow the instructions and use high quality ingredients, email marketers can greatly improve results if they stick to a tried-and-true recipe.

Digital River and Microsoft's Bumpy E-Commerce Road

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It's been an interesting couple of weeks for Digital River. Its deadline to re-sign Microsoft to an extension of the Microsoft Operations Digital Distribution Agreement, which would continue Digital River provision of Microsoft Store’s e-commerce platform beyond March, 2015 came and went on Dec. 1. While only a handful of people might have noticed, the company made a bigger splash on Dec. 8 when it announced an extension of the negotiation timeframe until Dec. 19.

Digital River's stocks rose and fell with the ups and downs of the announcements, dropping almost 25 percent from its close of $25.51 on Friday, Dec. 5, to $19.71 on Monday, Dec. 8. The stock eventually bottomed at $16.58 on Dec. 11, a drop of 35 percent in less than a week. On the power of yesterday's news the stock closed at $24.08, a 45 percent jump from last week’s low.

Do Analytics Matter for B2B Marketers?

B2B marketers use analytics and gain value from them in their campaigns and marketing programs, a survey released today claims.

But earlier this year, another study claimed otherwise. It found only about a third of organizational projects include marketing analytics. And it further claimed there has been no significant gains for how marketing analytics contribute to a company's overall performance.

Who do you believe? Your call.

Today is ON24's day in the sun. The webinar-based marketing solutions provider based its findings on a survey distributed last month to 221 US-based B2B marketers experienced with marketing analytics. Redshift Research administered the survey and ON24 released the results today.

Design and Refine Your Digital Business in 2015

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User experience was top of mind on Dec. 5, when nearly 150 business people, designers and technologists came together at Idean’s UX Summit in San Francisco. Two questions that I wanted to explore at the event: 1. How can UX design help digital business and customer experience success? and 2. Should all employees apply some design discipline to contribute?

The summit coincided with the 100 year anniversary of the start of Ernest Shackleton and his crew's epic attempt to traverse the continent of Antarctica. I couldn’t help but make a connection between the Endurance story and the challenges modern enterprise teams face with digital business and customer experience initiatives, often times ill-equipped and/or having to dramatically pivot en route, just to survive.

How Google Analytics Can Make Cross Device Marketing Easier

In an early post on tag management systems, I noted how these systems would provide a great flexibility in measuring customer behavior in the growing information anywhere and anytime environment. Laptops with Wi-Fi access have supplanted desktops in sales popularity, while mobile devices are as essential now as a wallet or purse. Consumers can access retailer information anywhere and anytime.

One driver of the growing need for cross device analysis is webrooming and showrooming, both retail-related activities stemming from holiday shopper activity during past few seasons. Webrooming is the retail customer behavior of researching products and services while in a store. It differs from showrooming, an in-store behavior in which customers compare prices and research features, leading to a purchase online.

Both trends signal the need to understand foot traffic that is likely to become web traffic, including traffic from customers researching products in the privacy of a home.

The fact is that it is critical to add an analytics solutions to accurately capture that traffic. And adding a User ID in a Google Analytics script captures the best cross device behavior to enhance a marketing strategy.

Rethink Your Redesign Strategies to Hit Your Targets

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The central message of 2014 for digital marketers couldn't be much clearer:  give customers the information they need on whatever devices they're using.

That theme surfaced again Tuesday in a CMSWire webinar sponsored by Ektron, "Website Redesign: Strategy First, Tactics Second." Two Ektron executives, CEO Bill Rogers and CMO Lou Jordano, provided a roadmap they said will help marketers attract more business from different types of customers. You can watch the webinar here or at the end of this story.

"It's tactics that win marketing battles, but strategy that wins wars," said Jordano, who led the first part of the presentation. "You have to have your website strategy clearly in mind before kicking off any redesign or rebranding project." 

21st Century Fox Buys true[x] for Ad Engagement

Do you think there's a need for better engagement models with digital advertising? 21st Century Fox agrees with you. Today the company announced it is buying true[x] media, a digital advertising company focused on driving more consumer engagement with advertising.

Although the terms of the deal were not announced the Wall Street Journal reported the deal size at $200 million.

The deal shows that despite the plethora of advertising formats and technologies, media markers and consumers are still not fully satisfied with the digital advertising experience. Concerned about the metrics and engagement levels ads are delivering, media companies are looking for better advertising solutions, especially those that can prove more value for their customers. 

Using Benchmark Reporting In Google Analytics

Any coach of a sports team at the start of a season will tell you that he wants his team to reach the championship. Reaching that pinnacle means benchmarking your team’s performance.

In the digital marketing world, managers who use Google Analytics are starting to feel a bit more like a sports coach. In September Google introduced a new benchmark reporting feature for its Google Analytics solution.

This benchmark reporting enhances decision making on analytics results.

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